One thing you find out really early in a relationship is that it’s true: Everyone Poops. And everyone farts, too, around ten times a day on average. How couples handle this gas varies wildly: Some clamp down hard, with a strict no-emissions zone declared in their shared space, while others let nature take its course and, presumably, live life with the windows cracked.
For most couples it falls somewhere in the middle, with people wanting, on the one hand, to not gross out their partner, while on the other hand preferring not to hold in a fart for so long that it backfires and comes out of their mouth (according to a doctor we spoke to, that really does happen). This being the case, we wondered, is there such thing as a “farting sweet spot?” A perfect amount of gas to let out to achieve personal comfort, without making your partner look at you like a noisome zoo animal? We asked three experts on the issue.
Shelli Chosak, Ph.D., relationship counsellor and human behavior expert:
“Farting is something that often can’t be controlled, so how much you do in front of each other may be inevitable. If there’s an odor that comes with the farting, it’s likely to be more offensive, although just the act of farting may bother one person and not the other. Some people are able to make light of it by calling attention to it—‘Hey, I just let a big one out!’—which can help ease some tension. Some people have even been known to purposely fart in front of someone to gain attention or because they think it’s funny, although since it may not be funny to the other person, it won’t always have the desired effect.”
“There is no reliable research I know of that indicates whether or not farting in your mate’s presence helps keep you together: A more accurate predictor of relationship longevity has more to do with how much you respect and honor the other’s wishes and reactions.”
Natalie Wall, creator of comedic storytelling shows “Awkward Sex and the City” and “Awkward Poop and the City”:
“I never farted actively in front of a partner until my current boyfriend because every other guy was weird about it. We’ve been together for two years now, but I started farting around the BF about three months into the relationship. I did this because a) holding in farts hurts! and b) I was sick of pretending that I didn’t fart. Women should never hold in their farts: If your partner can’t handle that, cut them out immediately.
“I don’t think there’s any cap to how many farts you’re allowed per day. You fart when you fart: Sometimes they will be silent, sometimes smelly, and sometimes loud as hell. So long as your partner respects you as a human, this will never be a problem, which is why ladies and dudes should cross this bridge sooner rather than later. It’s almost as big of a step as saying ‘I love you’ to your partner, because it shows you’re both comfortable being completely ‘you’ around each other.”
Tracy Moore, staff writer at Mel Magazine and self-professed Fart Defender™:
“Farts in a relationship are a lot like honesty. Does someone need to know your every single thought? Nor do they need to smell your every single fart. It’s as important to fart as it is to be honest, but not so much as to constantly overwhelm someone you love with the farting equivalent of a stream of consciousness dialog, or what you might call a constant (fart) data dump.
“Fart enough to show humanity, vulnerability, and closeness, but not so much as to literally drive someone out of the room (every time). Relationships need fart-free zones, just like they need talk-free zones. Ideally, we’d only let out the nicest farts, the same way we’d never blurt out a harsh truth about someone’s morning breath or tendency to tell the same bad jokes over and over. But it’s simply not always possible to edit your farts—the worst farts, like the awful truth, have a way of outing themselves at inopportune times. That’s the thing about farts. It’s also the thing about love.
“The fart sweet spot, then, is loving someone enough to let them fart (and let’s be honest, women need this freedom more than men, who are the kings of the fartdom), and to smell those farts courageously. But it’s also loving them so much that you’re willing to shield them from a large portion of your farts, by putting your best farts forward. This has to be what Goldilocks meant by choosing the porridge in the middle, as the best farts, like the best porridge, are room temperature—bland and utterly tolerable.”
Now you’ve read the expert opinions, tell us where you stand in the comments below. How much farting is too much—or too little?